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June 24, 2014

Classes in LIma

Weekday mornings in Lima meant gathering at la Catedral del Buen Pastor (the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd for lectures on Peru’s history and culture. Students heard from 16 guest lecturers on a wide variety of topics (they are earning credit for 5 different classes). Lecturers were Peruvians or Americans who have lived in Peru from three to 50 years. Peru SST directors Richard R. Aguirre and Judy Weaver also shared on subjects such as the Catholic Church, cultural adjustment and current events. On Wednesday we met at Casa Goshen for a time of worship, socializing and reflection that we…

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June 22, 2014

Goshen College students got a view into Peru’s ancient past with a visit to Huaca Pucllana, a complex of adobe pyramids that was once an administrative and religious center of the ancient Lima Culture people. They dominated coastal Peru from 200 to 700 A.D. The site, located in the city’s upscale Miraflores district, includes a large reconstructed pyramid of clay and adobe bricks, and surrounding structures. The tour includes scenes with figures representing the people who worked and worshipped here. A small museum includes ceramics and textiles and explanations of the significance and contributions of the Lima culture. Students toured…

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June 22, 2014

Creating Peruvian jewelry

As part of their exposure to Peruvian art and culture, Goshen students explored their creativity during a jewelry workshop led by Eliana and Ricardo Mauriola Carrasco, long-time host parents and friends of the Peru Study-Service Term program. Eliana and Ricardo make jewelry as a part-time business and sell necklaces, bracelets and earrings in Peru and overseas. Eliana and Ricardo described their Peru-grown materials, which included large and small seeds, carved and polished coconut shell and seashells, dyed in many bright colors. Most of the materials come from the Amazon rain forest. Some have special meaning. For example, some Amazon people…

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June 2, 2014

America’s oldest civilization

Goshen College students spent the afternoon of May 12 exploring the Sacred City of Caral-Supe, which is considered one of the earliest civilizations of the world and the oldest in the Americas. In recent years, radiocarbon dating has confirmed that urban life, complex agriculture and monumental architecture flourished in Caral 5,000 years ago – 2,000 years earlier than anywhere in Mesoamerica or Europe. That puts Caral on par with Mesopotamia, Egypt and China as areas that first gave rise to civilization. Peruvian archeologists call it a cultura madre; a mother culture. Caral has gained growing international recognition – including being…

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June 1, 2014

Sports fun with host families

Goshen College students spent their second Saturday in Lima playing soccer and volleyball with host family members and their friends. The spirited play took place at the municipal sports complex in the San Isidro district of Lima on a warm and gray morning. After picking teams, the students played three matches of “fulbito,” a scaled down version of soccer. Although fútbol, or soccer, is Peru’s national sport, fulbito is played more frequently, especially among children and adults because it can be played on a smaller field and with fewer players. A Peruvian invention, fulbito is played on a basketball or…

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June 1, 2014

On May 9, the Peru SST Summer unit visited Puente Piedra (Stone Bridge), a district of more than 230,000 people in the northern area of Lima. Although the district was founded in 1927, it also is home to tens of thousands of poor people who in recent decades have settled on rocky hillsides and live in wooden shacks with only basic services. To learn about the lives of such people, we visited Misión San Andrés Santísima Cruz, an Anglican church mission founded and led by Pastor Benjamin Salas Aguirre and his spouse, Livia Achahuanco. Besides the difficult work clearing rocks…

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May 29, 2014

Cajón lessons from a master

Goshen College students participated in a truly interactive workshop earlier this month by trying out a versatile musical instrument and a unique form of dance. They also received a brief overview of Afro-Peruvian history, to put the art forms into context. Their teacher was Camilo Ballumbrosio, a phenomenal Afro-Peruvian percussionist known throughout Peru and among world music fans in the Europe and the United States. Ballumbrosio’s ancestors were brought to Peru as slaves from Africa to work on cotton and sugar plantations on the Peruvian coast. His family is from El Carmen in the coastal Chincha Province and his father,…

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May 18, 2014

Goshen College students got a crash course in the history of Lima by touring the historic downtown district, better known as “El Centro de Lima.” The students got a top to bottom tour of the City of Kings – so named by its founder, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro – by touring the highest point downtown as well as underground catacombs that house the remains of thousands of Limeños. They also toured a riverfront park, watched the changing of the guard at the Presidential Palace, had lunch at a downtown landmark, visited a monastery and a cathedral and had drinks…

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May 12, 2014

Getting oriented to Peru SST

The Peru Study-Service Term group spent their first night in the Cirque Hostel, just a few blocks from Casa Goshen in the San Isidro district of Lima. Luckily the hostel did not live up to its name and was quiet and peaceful. The students reported getting a good night’s sleep and were ready to go for a full day of orientation on May 1, their first full day in Peru. The morning included introductions, worship time and working through the orientation handbook with Peru SST Co-Directors Judy Weaver and Richard R. Aguirre. At lunch time, we strolled to a beachside…

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May 11, 2014

For the Moms

Mother’s Day in Peru is a big family day; “like Christmas,” according to our Lima friends. Today stores were closed and the parks and restaurants were full of people. You could see families out for a stroll, dads barbecuing on patios and kids running around. The Peru SSTers spent the day with their host families, sharing an experience of family life and love. Peruvians have been planning for Mother’s Day for a couple of weeks. There have been huge Mother’s Day sales, of course, with flowers, chocolates and cards on display. A recent article in Lima’s biggest newspaper included quotes…

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